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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case BE-2020-12/417 Updated – measures in Belgium

Flemish interruption premium during COVID-19

Vlaamse Corona hinderpremie

Country Belgium , applies regionally

    • – BE2 VLAAMS GEWEST
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 30 June 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Case created 09 April 2020 (updated 15 September 2020)

Background information

Companies obliged to temporarily halt their activities because of the corona measures taken by the federal government may be eligible for the corona interruption premium of the Flemish government. The premium aims to compensate for the losses due to the companies inactivity. The compensation is a combination of a fixed sum of €4,000 for the period up until the 5 April 2020 with an additional premium €160 per day after the 5 April 2020.

Content of measure

The premium is directed towards companies that are forced to close due to the measures taken to reduce the spread of the Corona virus.

For the hotel and catering sector, it is sufficient that the consumption hall has to be closed in order to qualify for the corona interruption premium, even if collection and take-out services are still offered or other activities are carried out.

Apart from being forced to close other conditions apply:

  • The company has a legal personality under private law or a foreign company registered in Belgium with a comparable status, with at least one working partner or one full-time equivalent (FTE) registered social security employee.
  • In case of sole proprietorship: you are self-employed in your main profession.
  • If it is an independent activity in a secondary occupation, they are only eligible if they pay similar social security contributions as a self-employed person in main occupation.
  • If the association or non-profit organisation has at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) social security registered person.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

08 September 2020

Until 5 April For the period up to 5 April 2020, the premium amounted to €4000.

From 6 April 2020 As of 6 April 2020, all businesses and self-employed persons who received the corona interruption premium up to 5 April also automatically received €160 per mandatory closing day coinciding with a normal opening day. After 8 June Companies that had to remain completely closed for a longer period because of the federal corona measures, could benefit from the daily premium of €160 per additional closure day for the following closure periods (i.e. not companies that remained closed voluntarily). However, they had to apply for the daily premium online.

The last closure premium, which only applied to dance clubs and discotheques, expired on 31 August.

20 June 2020

The Flemish Government has decided to extend the duration of the premium until the 30 June for those entrepreneurs who are still obliged to physically close their company.

Use of measure

The concrete amount of beneficiaries is unclear as the companies/organisations have to apply themselves. It is however to be expected that a large amount of companies or organisations will apply, as many have been forced to close over the past few weeks. The number will continue to grow as companies/organisations can apply until the second half of May.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

It is to be expected that the social partners were at least informed of the measure. The extent or their involvement is unclear.

Views and reactions

It is to be expected that the social partners were at least informed of the measure. The extent or their involvement is unclear.

Sources

  • 18 March 2020: Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (www.vlaio.be)
  • 07 April 2020: Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (www.vlaio.be)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Flemish interruption premium during COVID-19, case BE-2020-12/417 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.